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Ther Adv Med Oncol. 2017 Oct;9(10):615-626. doi: 10.1177/1758834017728018. Epub 2017 Aug 29.

Transarterial infusion of epirubicin and cisplatin combined with systemic infusion of 5-fluorouracil versus transarterial chemoembolization using doxorubicin for unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma with portal vein tumor thrombosis: a retrospective analysis.

Author information

1
Division of Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.
2
Division of Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul St. Mary's hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, 222 Banpo-daero, Seocho-gu, Seoul, 137-701, Republic of Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

More than one-third of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients are diagnosed at advanced stage with portal vein tumor thrombosis (PVTT) or extrahepatic metastasis. However, the outcomes of current therapeutic approaches are unsatisfactory. As a novel therapeutic strategy for unresectable HCC with PVTT, we analyzed the outcomes of transarterial infusion of epirubicin and cisplatin combined with systemic infusion of 5-fluorouracil (TAC-ECF) and compared its therapeutic effects and toxicity with transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) using doxorubicin (DOX).

METHODS:

A total of 540 consecutive HCC patients who received TACE at the Catholic Medical Center between January 2007 and November 2013 were enrolled. Of these patients, we retrospectively analyzed 129 Barcelona clinic liver cancer stage C HCC patients with PVTT who received either TAC-ECF or TACE using DOX.

RESULTS:

The objective tumor response rate was higher in the TAC-ECF group, with 31.3% objective response rate after TAC-ECF compared to 10% after DOX treatment (p = 0.004). Median follow-up period was 7 months (range, 1-57 months). The overall survival rate was also significantly higher in the TAC-ECF group compared to the DOX group (median 9.3 versus 4.6 months, p < 0.0001). Multivariate analysis revealed that TAC-ECF and extrahepatic metastasis were independent predictive factors for overall survival (p < 0.0001 and p = 0.002 respectively). No serious adverse effects developed in both groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

TAC-ECF therapy was tolerable and showed higher overall survival rate and tumor response compared to the conventional TACE DOX in advanced stage HCC patients with PVTT. Therefore, TAC-ECF may be considered as an effective treatment option for patients with unresectable HCC.

KEYWORDS:

5-fluorouracil; cisplatin; epirubicin; hepatocellular carcinoma; portal vein tumor thrombosis

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of interest statement: The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

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